Ingrid the Plumber, Healing Hangovers, & The Real St. Patrick

Ingrid the Plumber

Nostalgic of President Obama’s encounter with Joe the Plumber (Joe Wurzelbacher), who opposed Obama’s redistribution policy back in the race to the presidency, “Ingrid Martin Channels Joe the Plumber, Debates Obama After Health Speech” by Matt Lewis from AOL’s Politic’s Daily features an exclusive interview with an unbiased dissenter of what Martin calls “Obamacare.” As one who was in the business for 24 years, she fiercely opposes his health plan, saying it will be more destructive than helpful, since insurance companies have already begun laying off employees, including her. “I didn’t clap and I didn’t smile, and I just sort of held firm to my beliefs and held my tongue so I didn’t get into any trouble,” said the worried citizen, who also remarked how polite and attentive Obama was to her open opposition, even within their debate.

There are a few reasons this article is news-worthy. First, at one of Obama’s rallies, where dozens of supporters clapped for his cause, he decided to politely address his one dissenter above all, who just so happened to get sat immediately in front of him, dead center. The incredible tension that this scene creates makes it thrilling news to read. The hot debate going on now in both chambers of congress proves this piece as timely. Also, with pundits from every which angle spewing their acidic opinions, to hear that Obama carefully and intentionally addressed an opponent says much about his character (even if you disagree with his policies), while at the same time addressing those who would only present one-sided news. Lastly, without Politics Daily’s unique interview, the story would’ve been interesting but a few degrees less in flatness; it would’ve been boring. Going further for the best possible idea/story is exactly what suspends this above other coverage on the incident.

Find it HERE.

Healing a Hangover

In CNN Health’s “The facts behind hangover remedies,” writers Elizabeth Landau and Madison Park do exactly that: reveal the true-and-false reality behind the pervasive occurrence. Quoting bartender Patrick Macellaio (“People order Bloody Marys in the morning to get them back on the horse so they can start drinking again. That’s the most popular hangover drink”) as an introduction, the piece then moves into the scientific realm, quoting Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist, a medicinal professor at Emory University, who said “There probably won’t be a known effective treatment until we understand the physiology better.” Nonetheless, the article continues in a sort of Q-&-A format, defining a hangover, exploring possible cures (like food or pills), discouraging the use of drinking more alcohol as a remedy, and finally encouraging the increased intake of water before, after and during drinking.

On St. Patrick’s Day, anything green, holy or beer-related is apt news. This piece does exactly what news should do: it tells the public something new, something useful, especially on a day when many will go out and get crunked. At one point in the piece, a bit of humorous bias comes in immediately before the writers remind the reader what a hangover is (“To refresh your memory”), as if any and all members of their audience experienced the dreary condition. This happens incessantly in news. Actually, my use of the word “dreary” to describe the condition shows a bit of bias on my part. Excuse the blunder.

Find it HERE.

The Real St. Patrick

In “The Truth Behind St. Patrick’s Day,” quipster and contributing writer, Ed Dykhuizen, details the historical account of saint Patrick, three-leaf clovers and snakes’ relation to the icon. He begins with a reflective story from his childhood, “when you forget to wear green to school and everyone pinches you until you’re red with shame and then you run home crying and then get in trouble for ditching school,” which, of course, opens an avenue of humor down which he continues through the entire piece. 1,500-year-old Patty used three-leaf clovers to visually describe the Trinity, a central doctrine to Christianity. Dykhuizen also relates that saint Patrick’s war against Ireland’s snakes was actually metaphorical, symbolizing the evangelist’s efforts to convert the pagans.

Again, on St. Patrick’s Day, anything related to the jolly and green cleric is appropriate news. This article is especially ideal because most people don’t know the real story; many, don’t even know there is a real story to tell. Unfortunately, the witty tone of the article wouldn’t be AP-approved, but, if I were this writer’s editor, I’d let the public read it as is, namely because it transforms a somewhat mundane subject into a fast-paced, entertainment-like blog, without losing integrity or truthfulness. It even directs the reader to saint Patrick’s two-page autobiography (which, I must admit, is rather enthralling).

Find it HERE.

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